S&P/ASX 200 to jump: 8 shares to watch

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AJXO) (ASX: XJO) is expected to trade higher despite mixed leads from international markets overnight.

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): up 1.13%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.28%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 1.43%
  • DAX (Germany): down 1.53%
  • EURO STOXX 50 (Europe): down 1.87%

In the US, a 6% jump in oil prices helped the Dow Jones nudge higher. Meanwhile European investors appear to have been spooked by inflation concerns and volatile oil prices, dragging energy and bank shares lower. FTSE-listed shares of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) rose 2.15%, while BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) ended 0.17% lower.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 32-point, or 0.6%, rise in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include AGL Energy Ltd (ASX: AGL). This morning, the energy giant announced it’d take an impairment of $640 million after tax on gas exploration and production assets. It will no longer hold exploration and production of natural gas assets as a core business. It also chose not to proceed with its New South Wales assets and announced the sale of select assets in Queensland.

In other news, Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) announced the appointment of Will Irving as Group Executive Telstra Wholesale following a decision by current executive Stuart Lee to stand down.

Another company in focus today will be betting agency, Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX: TAH). In an ASX announcement this morning, the company revealed a 33% drop in profit for the half-year ended 31 December 2015 despite a 2% increase in revenue.

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) released an operational briefing to the market saying that it expects the “FY16 result to up on FY15.”

Programmed Maintenance Services Ltd (ASX: PRG) released a “business update” flagging impairments. It expects to report a dividend of 5 cents per share, equal to 50% of the updated profit forecast. Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU) announced the acquisition of Capital Markets Cooperative, LLC for $US71.2 million.

Yesterday evening, Ansell Limited (ASX: ANN) lowered its earnings per share forecast from between $US1.05 and $US1.20 to between $US0.95 and $US1.10.

Finally, Downer EDI Limited (ASX: DOW) announced a first-half net profit of $72.1 million, down 24% over the prior corresponding period.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of Computershare. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Computershare. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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